Take An Extreme Position

One of the top five classes I have ever taken was a shortened version of a negotiation course during a Mergers and Acquisitions executive education program at The Wharton School. The class was led by Stuart Diamond. It was darn good.

It has been over ten years since I have taken that class. But there is one thing that I will always remember from it. If you can't seem to get anywhere in a negotiation take an extreme position that any rational person would agree to. Get to that first yes. 

An example that Mr. Diamond used was around the Israel-Palestine conflict. Pretty tough nut. Those folks can't seem to agree on anything. In such a situation you have to take an extreme position to get agreement.

"Can we agree that it is wrong to kill babies." Well yeah. From there take incremental steps, "How about toddlers?" "First graders?" "Teenagers?" until you meet a point of resistance. At that point get them to tell you more so you can address the underlying concern. Ask why.

Great tactic that generally works. Take an extreme position, it will often times lead to a deal.

March 5, 2013  |  Comments  |  Tweet  |  Posted in Business, Deals